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Christine98 Profile
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"James Joyce's chance encounters"


“Ulysses” was never banned in Ireland. People there who hated the book weren’t simply offended by the obscenity. They didn’t like what they saw of themselves in it. George Bernard Shaw called the novel’s language “blackguardly,” and said that his own hand could never have formed the words. But he conceded that the book was a masterpiece. He, too, had been a young man in Dublin, and he recognized the city he had known. “ ‘Ulysses’ is a document,” he told a friend, “the outcome of a passion for documentation that is as fundamental as the artistic passion. . . . If a man holds up a mirror to your nature and shows you that it needs washing—not whitewashing—it is no use breaking the mirror.” As Joyce said when he was told that his aunt Josephine had refused to read the book, “If ‘Ulysses’ isn’t fit to read, life isn’t fit to live.”

Henry James, in an essay called “The Art of Fiction,” in 1884, said that in England and America people see more than they think it’s proper to say, and they say more than they think it’s proper to read. More than any other English writer, Joyce destroyed that decorum. He paid a terrible price for it."

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Jun/30/2012, 10:14 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: "James Joyce's chance encounters"


Hi Chris,

I have to confess that except for Dubliners I've never read Joyce. A few years ago a friend taught Ulysses to his senior research methods class and encouraged me to read it. He went so far as to give me an old copy of the novel he no longer needed, but I didn't take the bait. I did watch a few film versions of the book he used in the class, which doesn't count. I found the descriptions of Joyce and the life he lived in this article very interesting and informative.

Now about that book. . . .
Jul/10/2012, 8:58 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: "James Joyce's chance encounters"


You and me both, Kat. I picked up "Ulysses" for the umpteenth time and attempted to read it recently.

Now I'm sloooowly working through "Swann's Way" by Marcel Proust, another I promised myself to read. It's beautiful but slow going for some reason (and just the first of 7!)

So that's Joyce, [sign in to see URL], oh yeah, Melville. Would you believe I still haven't read "Moby Dick"? Tried and tried but never finished it.

That's me: unschooled and lacking the discipline it takes to be an autodidact. Oh, and not getting any younger...

Chris
Jul/10/2012, 11:41 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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So long ago, so far away, and likely to little profit. Like any good student of the Moderns I took on both Joyce and Proust. All of Proust's Rememberance novels and all of Joyce but for his Finnigan's Wake thing. I wasn't 25 yet. For years I swore by Joyce. Proust was a bit more problematic. He got his madelaine cookie idea, the cookie whose taste brings back to memory what amounts to an entire personal history, he got the idea from Wordsworth's "spots of time" the memory seizure that sets one's life in a meaningful framework. But, now, I think the device was mostly an excuse for his layered excursion into deep time. That is what keeps with me. The layered, textured excursion. As for Joyce, not sure what I think about him anymore. Then again I'm not sure what I think about experimental writing in general when the experiment itself is it own end. Seems to me there has to be something more. Duende maybe.

Tere
Jul/11/2012, 1:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
vkp Profile
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All I know is, Dubliners is full of great stories, well told. I don't understand why writing has to be impenetrable. What is the point? Don't get me wrong -- I loved Virginia Woolf, but she stops short of shutting out her reader. I like good stories. I like beautiful writing. I like poems that stop the heart. I know it when I see it. Aren't I a terrible critic?
vkp
Jul/13/2012, 5:17 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 


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